Thinking at 3 Time Horizons

3_Time_Horizons“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.”Henry Ford

One of the defining characteristics of great Business Leaders, Managers, Entrepreneurs and Sales People is having an “Opportunity Mindset”. An opportunity mindset comes from being open and receptive to opportunity, which means being open and receptive to change. Change is all around us at multiple levels and is never ending. Highly successful people are comfortable with “change over time” and “change all the time” and can anticipate change and the opportunities that change will create.

“There are three basic aspects of thinking: 1. What is; 2. What may be; and 3. What can be.’ We are almost totally obsessed with ‘what is’. We underestimate the extremely valuable contribution that ‘what may be’ has made to progress. We do very little about ‘what can be’ even though our future depends entirely on this aspect.” – Edward de Bono

3_Time_Horizons_SlideBusiness Leaders, Managers, Entrepreneurs and Sales Professional who are serially successful have the ability to think at 3 different time horizons simultaneously. Horizon 1: Today (Now – 6 months), Horizon 2: Tomorrow (next 6 – 12 months) and Horizon 3: The Future (1 to 3 years out). Their success comes from being able to move from one time horizon to another and back again, constantly surveying and monitoring the business landscape for indicators of change and anticipating the consequent emerging opportunities.

Horizon 1: Tactics: Operational Horizon. Think – Price
Horizon 2: Annual Business Plans: Management Horizon. Think – Cost
Horizon 3: Strategy and Vision: Executive Horizon. Think – Value

3_Time_Horizons_Geoffrey_Moore“Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people, adding strength to their natural abilities, which… improves teamwork, productivity and, where appropriate, profits.”Edward de Bono 

“Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Question: When was the last time you considered all 3 Time Horizons? Think short-term tactical, think mid-term manageable and think long-term strategic.

One Response to Thinking at 3 Time Horizons

  1. Alexey Bakhtiarov 21/05/2013 at 9:16 AM #

    Every day, David!
    I have the good teachers. 😉

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